Wesley College had a mixed bag, winning their first game and losing the next. Wesley took on the Vidyartha boys first and marched to a dominating 38-7 win, but did not trouble the scorers against Isipathana but gave away 10 points. But the double blues, with as many as eleven senior players in their line-up, will be determined to make a lasting impression in the current season.
“Losing the game against Pathana was a setback for the ambitious plan we had drawn for the season, but all what we plan now is to bounce back strongly and do well in the first round. We do not have big plans, just keep it simple, go match by match and play to our strengths,” stated Assistant Coach Shehan Dias, a former College ruggerite who also turned out for CH&FC.
“Keeping up with the game and training during the lockdown was a huge challenge everyone had to go through. It was indeed a difficult time. We had to do online sessions frequently, at least to keep up their condition in a manageable state. More than physically, mentally keeping the boys strong was a tough task. Happy that we have moved on from there and playing the game. We have a very balanced team with the forwards and backs putting their heart out while playing. We do have a mixture of experience and youth, but majority are players from last year,” added Dias about his boys.
They are led by fourth year back division player Tharusha Jayaweera. Wesley were the Under-16 All Island champion outfit 3 years back. The skipper has the services of ten senior players in Hafiz Thabeeth, Miraj Miskin, Shem Elisha, Akinda Gammanpila, Ruchith Hapugalle, Nimshan Lawrence, Rigesh Muralidharan, Shaveen Jayawardena, Shane Hopwood and Shehan Fernando.
Wesley will definitely look to improve from where they ended in 2018 and 2019. From 7th place in 2018 they finished 4th in 2019, and are clearly looking to have a top four finish this season. 2013 was their golden era as they won the President’s Trophy Knock out Championship under the captaincy of Rahul de Silva.
First XV Rugby Pool:
Prop forwards: Hafiz Thabeeth (V. Capt), Shem Elisha, Kaveesh Jaymon, Saabith Musheen and Jehan Weerabangsa
Hooker: Miraj Miskin and Abdullah Sideek
Second row forwards: Akinda Gammanpila, Ruchith Hapugalle, Shaheer Hassim and Shem Mendis
Flankers: Nimshan Lawrence, Sheal Samuel, Chamod Nimsara, Dineth Srimantha and Shaheen Jaymon
Number Eight: Shehan Fernando and Isuru Perera
Scrum half: Rigesh Muralidharan
Fly half: Shaveen Jayawardana (V. Capt) and Wahid Hossain
Centres: Shane Hopwood, Avishka Jayasinghe, Kavitha Amaneth, Dillon de Silva and Deron de Silva
Wingers: Mishael Amath, Maleesha Thirangama, Saadhi Rasheed, Sandul Gammanpila and Nithila Sanwidu
Full back: Tharusha Jayaweera (Captain), Aaron Corea.
Head Coach: Krishan Wettasinghe
Asst coach: Shehan Dias and Saliya Handapangoda
Manager: Rushlan Allang
By Vimukthi Adithya